Ella Heeks: Abel & Cole

Focus: Organic food home delivery service

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Ella Heeks
: 27
Company: Abel & Cole

When founders decide to bring in management most look to experienced ‘been there, done it’ business leaders. Abel & Cole recruited 22-year-old Heeks fresh out of university. Five years on losses have been replaced by healthy profit and its £500,000 turnover has grown to £14m. Heeks installed professional internal structures, but insists the key has been her refusal to compromise the organic food delivery company’s principles of providing a personal, human and committed service to both its customers and growers. She’s also striven to build a workforce that shares the company’s values, introducing free food bags and a profit share scheme. Achieving UK-wide coverage is the target for 2006.

2017 update:

Heeks left Abel & Cole in 2008 after stepping down as managing director to become the ethics director in 2007. Since 2006, she has been a Trustee of the Organix Foundation – which provides services, education and training in the advancement of health or saving of lives amongst children and young people – and since 2007, an advisory board member of social impact-focused investment firm CearlySo. She also offers business consultancy through Ella Heeks – Expert Support for Entrepreneurs.

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